The ultimate route for Gran Fondo Hincapie-Boise, the Gran features mountain climbs, beautiful river views, and a gravel KOM. Beginning at the Idaho State Capital Building, the route opens with a seven-mile ride through the city. That’s when the landscape begins to change dramatically. At Mile 7, you’ll encounter your first ascent of the day with a 2.3-mile climb of Seamans Gulch. The gulch has an average grade of 4.8%, a perfect warmup for what’s ahead.
Following a fast downhill on Dry Creek and Beacon Light Roads, the path begins to gain elevation as it stretches toward the route’s first dirt road section. Get comfortable on the dirt road quickly because it won’t remain flat long. For the day’s first timed KOM, the route will turn onto Jackass Gulch Road for a 1.3-mile ascent that will reward riders who can generate power while riding in the saddle.
Once you’ve summited Jackass Gulch, the road ventures downhill and returns to pavement for a steep descent on Old Freeze Out Road. The next two miles treat riders to unobstructed views of the mountains and the small town of Emmett. But even with the scenery, riders will need to keep their eyes on the road with several sharp curves on the descent. The route will take cyclists along the outskirts of Emmett on dirt and paved roads, leading to the Emmett Rest Area. With rising temperatures, this is a great spot to refuel and rehydrate. The route’s next section includes 12 miles of dirt road and a 5.5-mile climb before encountering the next rest area.
From the rest area, you’ll turn onto the longest stretch of gravel road on the Gran. With 360-degree mountain views and Payette River flowing parallel to the course, this is perhaps the most scenic stretch of the ride. The road will take you to Horseshoe Bend and offer a brief opportunity to take your breath before tackling the second KOM on Old Highway 55. For even the most experienced climbers and adrenaline junkies, the next 5.5 miles is a true test of endurance. The road will climb more than 1,600 feet before reaching a peak elevation of 4,269 feet. The good news is that your second rest stop is waiting at the top.
From the pinnacle, the road gives way to a quick 8.5-mile descent to Dry Creek Road. However, it’s only a brief reprieve as you’ll approach the final KOM. At a mere 1.9 miles in length, Cartwright Hill may not seem daunting. But after a day of climbing and gravel riding, it won’t be an easy pedal over the hill. The only joy you’ll find is that the final 3.5 miles will provide a smooth—and thankfully downhill—ride to the finish line.
- 80 Miles
- 6,007 feet
Event jersey, timing chip, SAG support, fully-stocked rest stops, participant medal, participant photos, and free food and beverage at the Expo